Beauty Blogosphere 5.9.13

What's going on in beauty this week, from head to toe and everything in between.


Gentlemen didn't always prefer blondes.

From Head...

"Let me live it as a blonde": Loved this podcast looking at the origins of hair-color stereotyping—including a question I've had for some time about why "gingers" are harassed in some regions.

...To Toe...
Fishy business: 
Live in California? No fish pedicures for you!

...And Everything In Between:
"Faded significantly": 
Lancome is being sued for false advertising, given that its "24-hour" foundation doesn't actually last 24 hours. (And talk about what, for me, is a buried lede: Applying makeup is considered "creative work" and therefore forbidden on the Sabbath.)

Avon's Eire: Avon pulled out of Ireland a couple of weeks ago in a cost-cutting measure—much to the surprise of the hundreds of representatives in the country.

P&G rundown: Five things to be learned from Procter & Gamble's annual report, including the head-scratcher that beauty is actually the company's least successful division—and grooming, i.e. manstuff, is its most lucrative. Plus, their advertising isn't as effective as it once was (perhaps that's why they've extended payment deadlines to their ad agencies by 30 days?).

Animal hypocrisy: A number of companies that have previously marketed themselves as animal-friendly (i.e. not testing on animals) have quietly changed their policies in order to sell in China, where animal testing is required. Just companies like Estee Lauder, Avon, and Mary Kay, no big deal.

Y not?: The Grand Narrative, as always, manages to elucidate aspects of American culture while examining contemporary Korean culture. This time: How the "Y-line" branding trend in South Korea (that's Y-line as in your crotch, ladies) pathologizes utterly normal parts of women's bodies, à la the invention of "figure flaws" like being anything other than a slim hourglass.

Tragedy at Rana Plaza: One of the United States' deadliest industrial disasters, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, was instrumental in strengthening garment workers' unions. Could the global community apply the same lesson of workers' rights to the disaster in Bangladesh? And more directly, could American boycotts pressure Bangladesh to clean up the national record on worker freedoms to organize?

On SPF and brown skin: This essay from A. Sandosharaj is, in a word, splendid. In fact, I'll call it a must-read. "Yes, Spike Lee and Angela Davis made me feel valued because I saw myself through a historical lens, one that exposed norms I had understood as universal. But I also felt beautiful because on the conventional scale—one that often privileges Western, patriarchal preferences—my location on the grand gradation had moved. Thinner, no glasses. From this standpoint it was easier to condemn. It’s always easier to denounce a club that will have you as a member, isn’t it?" (via Sally)

Burn: With the summer approaching, it wouldn't hurt to keep in mind that products that don't cause an allergic reaction in the winter might suddenly become irritating in the summer because of sun exposure and heightened perspiration.

No gray ladies: The cure for gray hair is coming. No, really. And ten bucks says we'll soon be seeing a wave of hair-dye ads focusing on the "isn't it fun to dye your hair?!" angle of hair coloring to make up for lost sales.

Updo of the gods: I'm pretty sure I'm missing the point of this awesome New Yorker bit on "My Wedding Hair" when I say this, but I sorta really want the hairstyle described within. "Kind of a homesteader vibe?... But, like, sexy."5 o'clock shadow: This study confirms what plenty of us straight ladies coulda told you for free: Stubble is sexy.

One day my log will have something to say about this.

Teevee beauties: Lots going on in TV/beautyland: Downton Abbey is licensing, among other items, beauty products. (Had this news come out during season 1, I'd have been thrilled; after the BS that was season 3, this blogger could care less.) Caitlin Constantine asks why we're asked to accept frail-ish women as action heroines, and celebrates the Game of Thrones character who defies the norm (and what did ever happen to Linda Hamilton arms?). And in other beauty-television news, here's how to "Get the Look: Log Lady." (Who's been to the Twin Peaks Festival? I've been to the Twin Peaks Festival.)

Underwear week 2013: Nancy Friedman—whose journeying queries into brand naming are the perfect mix of hilarity and insight—embarks upon her second triennial Underwear Week, looking at words like cheekini and iffy branding strategies like MILF: Mom I'd Love to Fit.

Sew there: I was super-excited to see Venusian Glow's make-your-own-bra tutorial (excited on a, like, theoretical level, not a practical one, since I'm the one who stills "hems" things with safety pins)—and then it turns out there's a whole new book on the subject, from custom bra fitter Orange Lingerie. (Reviewed here, positively, by Hourglassy.)

Speaking of brassieres: June of Braless in Brasil has been doing some impressive work with the numbers culled from her underbust survey—fill in your measurements here to help her get over 1,000 responses so that the findings will have even more weight backing them up.

The last fashion consultation: Want to end your life—and look fabulous doing it? Hire Attractive Corpse to help you plan a beautiful death. (I'll take my humor pitch-black, thanks.)

Gay old time: I don't normally link to reviews, but when it's a review of Christopher Street—a fragrance inspired by the history and activism of what was once the epicenter of gay culture (and that uses the phrase "shatter traditional notions of gender" in its official statement)—how could I not?

Namaste: Melanie Klein lays out how yoga—a haven from judgment, a practice of being in the now—has attracted another component: the myth of "yoga body." "In the same way there is no such thing as a perfect asana, there’s no such thing as a perfect ass because we’re all individuals. I’d like to preserve the unique face of yoga before she is unrecognizable."